The lights are glowing from behind the bar. I reach down to grab my drink and I take a sip from the skinny red straw. Why are these straws acceptable, they are so hard to drink from, I think to myself. I look around the room to spot the table where my friends sit. My one friend waves me over and I cross the room. The four of us sit at the table and sip our drinks. The lights are becoming dim and the music is getting louder. The night is beginning. More people crowd on the dance floor and I watch as the women sway their hips and men’s eyes seem to follow.
I grab the birthday girl’s hand and pull her onto the dance floor. The other girls follow. We all begin to feel the music and dance in a circle. (Your typical girl circle that you see in a bar, which shows we don’t want to dance with any guys because it is girl’s night out.) I notice that my friends drinks are low and I offer to go to the bar.
I return to the girl circle with drinks in hand and I notice a guy eyeing one of my friends. He moves closer and I grab her arm. I start to dance with her and move her into the middle of the circle. The guy eyes me and gives me a smirk. I laugh because my friend would never be interested in him. He has a handle bar mustache and looks like Mario from the video game.
We go back to dancing and sipping our drinks. Sometime between doing the moonwalk and the running man I see Mario sneaking over again. He looks at my other friend and begins to walk over. I grab her and ask her if she needs another drink, she does so we walk to the bar. We reach the bar and I turn back to look at my friends, they are dancing and having a great time. Then I lock eyes with Mario. He glares at me with a serious look in his eye. I look away, scared by his strong gaze. We get our refills and walk back to my friends.
We sway back and forth to the music that is blasting through the speakers. The alcohol is taking effect. I feel the warmth in my cheeks and the lightness in my legs. I’m having a great time with my girls and they are smiling while they dance. All of a sudden my one friend hits the floor. I swoop her up and get her steady. She gives me a worried look but smiles. “I must have slipped because the floor is wet.” I agree with her and we keep dancing. A few seconds later she slips again, this time backward into a group of guys. One catches her and asks her if she is ok. I grab her arm and tell them that she is fine.
I drag her off of the dance floor and over to a table. I look her in the eye and say, “are you sure your ok? Maybe you shouldn’t have worn high heels.” She looks at me with disbelief in her eyes. “I said I was fine, I’m not even drunk. Just let me go I will be fine.” She walks back towards the other girls with her drink and they stare in my direction.
This is the moment I realize that I am an overprotective friend. I thought I was being helpful, but I was being to controlling. Its not the first time I have done this. I have an epiphany right there in the bar. I realize that I can’t be my friends’ keeper. They are big girls, they can handle it themselves.
I walk back to my friends and I apologize. “I didn’t mean to be so controlling, I just love you guys and I try to look out for you. But we are out to have a good night and I will leave it at that.” They all smile and we start to dance again. Like the good friends they are, they drop the subject.
I always remember that night. When I want to give my friend career advice or take my friends keys after a night of drinking. I can only control my life, not theirs. Advice and suggestions are one thing but thinking I know what is best for them is wrong. I need to let them live their lives and make their own decisions. I try to hold my tongue when they tell me about the horrible relationship they are in or the fight they had with another friend. I just listen like a good friend should and only give advice when I am asked to. That night out taught me a lot about how to be a good friend.
Now when we all go out I just bust a move, sip my drink and get lost in the music. When Luigi (Mario’s uglier brother) walks over I turn the other way.